Erhard Wolfaardt arguably carries the tag of race favourite going into Sunday’s Pretoria-Tshwane Africa Cup after having won the Africa Cup in Zimbabwe a week ago and only been defeated once in the BSG/Energade Series this year.
But he will be sure not to rest on his laurels. Coming back into form is Hendrik de Villiers who was chasing Wolfaardt down in the last BSG/Enerdage series race and there’s also Chris Felgate of Zimbabwe. Sadly Richard Murray has had to withdraw due to a flu virus.
The tactics on the day should prove to be very interesting, as Wolfaardt is traditionally a strong starter and De Villiers is a proven chaser. With the race being held over the Olympic distance (1500m swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) De Villiers will relish the challenge.
It will be quite a challenge though for de Villiers, as Wolfaardt is also a strong biker and runner. If De Villiers is out of the water with Wolfaardt, then the two will likely work together on the bike to get away from the pack.
De Villiers though will want to work with the other athletes, should he not emerge from the swim with Wolfaardt.
Another athlete who will be hoping for a good swim is Michael Davidson. The 32-year-old is a strong biker and runner and will want to be as close to the early leaders as possible in order to be able to chase them down.
If Davidson and de Villiers are in a bunch together, then Wolfaardt will have his work cut out for him. Still, Wolfaardt’s confidence will be sky high after a five race-winning streak including the Africa Cup in Zimbabwe last Sunday.
Having raced in Zimbabwe will also give him the added advantage of knowing some of his opposition. Zimbabwe Africa Cup third placed finisher Mauro Cavanha Conceicao has entered, along with a host of international athletes. Michal Achczynski of Poland finished eighth in Zimbabwe, Eygypt’s Ahmed Zaher, Lawrence Fanous of Jordan ÔÇô a strong swimmer ÔÇô and Morroco’s Medhi Essadiq are likely to challenge for top 10 placings. All are looking for ITU points and with 250 up for grabs for the winner the racing will be anything but easy.
Also on offer is R4500 for the winner, which will come in a a handy pre-Christmas bonus.
The Elite men get underway at 10am on Sunday. Full information is available at http://www.triathlonsa.co.za/Public/ViewEvent.aspx?id=105